Nigeria: In need of dreamers, of a certain kind
Presented atHarvardUniversity on March 5, 2014
By Babs Omotowa (FCIPS)

Ba...
"There is a huge, untapped potential here. Nigeria is an enormous market for investors; a
market where telecommunications ...
of progress is inaccurate. ―Rural Tanzania might conform to that view, for instance,
buturban Tanzania resembles much of A...
There are others, good and bad:
Nigerians believe thatnothing works in Nigeria.
That Nigeria makes great plans, but there ...
In the early 1800s, two major developments occurred that had a major influence on the
region that would become Nigeria. Be...
atNigeria’s hard-headed realism – we were born imperfect; so we must erase that mistake
–

that has sired sectarian violen...
Nigerians are eager, restless, and impatient to take hold of history and change its course;
defiance and resilience are th...
Power (electricity) key to growth– Average watt per person is 12 versus 450 in South
Africa, 1,400 in US.

Indeed, the sma...
By the same time, Russia, Mexico and Indonesia could be bigger than Germany or the UK;
Turkey could overtake Italy; and Ni...
Stability: The periods of catastrophic government action that slowed growth in past
decades in Africa have become less fre...
NIRP fiscal policy actions hiked tariffs on imported vehicles by 70% which has caught
attention of global motor manufactur...
invested over $4 billion in the Nigerian economy and has paid more than $1.8 billion in
various levies and duties to the g...
Years have passed since investors updated their view of Africa’s promise. The time is
ripefor multinationals to rethink su...
Power reforms and privatisation are key in unlocking the potential and makinglocal
businesses work and bemore competitive ...
Agriculture has huge employment potentials (23% unemployment in Nigeria and 60% of
population below 30years) not just in f...
From Oasis To Critical Mass
Sectors where politically savvy businessmen have gained foothold in Nigeria include -Cement, T...
As unfettered business is a driving engine of growth, pro-business institutions in Nigeria
including Chambers of Commerce,...
On the whole, Nigeria, for those who are genuinely interested, is not the black box academics
and international business t...
MD/CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited

REFRENCES:
1. THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF NIGERIA, by Philip E. Meza, Ekinadese Osayande &
Ly...
7. MINT: Myth or Reality, by Seyi Bickersteth, KPMG International paper delivered at
the ICAN Conference, 9 October 2013, ...
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Nigeria: In need of dreamers, of a certain kind
Presented at Harvard University on March 5, 2014
By Babs Omotowa (FCIPS)

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Nigeria: In need of dreamers, of a certain kind

  1. 1. Nigeria: In need of dreamers, of a certain kind Presented atHarvardUniversity on March 5, 2014 By Babs Omotowa (FCIPS) Babs Omotowa is currently Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limitedand the Vice President of Bonny Gas Transport Limited. Prior to this he was at various times Vice President, HSE, Infrastructure and Logistics for Shell companies in Sub-Sahara Africa, a Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria and also a Director of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company. Babs has worked in Shell for over 20 years, starting his career in Warri Nigeria, before proceeding to Europe, where he worked in the United Kingdom, Holland, Norway and Ireland in various Managerial and Operational/Production roles. Babs is a graduate of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria in Industrial Chemistry and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK.
  2. 2. "There is a huge, untapped potential here. Nigeria is an enormous market for investors; a market where telecommunications grew, with the explosion of mobile phone subscribers from 60,000 to 125 million today". -- Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF Salutations I am honoured to be here today, and grateful for allowing me to be part of the on-going dialogue about Nigeria, my beloved country. I realise that discussions about Nigeria and its place in the world arouses deep interest because of the unique sense of expectation that it has always infused; the cautious optimism and earnest prayers that one day all its controversies, all its contradictions, and all its contrarian impulses will resolve nicely, even if miraculously, and it will rise like the mythical phoenix and take its rightful place in the comity of nations. Crossing The River of Myths I will like to start by quoting from a lecture by Hans Rosling,at the Pickard Memorial Lecture for the Harvard Statistics Department in October 2012. In that lecture, Rosling, a famed Swedish physician, master statistician and development expert, refuted some of the popular myths about Africa, sayingthe dismissive attitude towards developing nations is unhelpful and a result ofmisperceptions. According to Rosling, the world is a complicated quilt of nations without rigid structures or patterns; we must only judge development on case by case or country by country basis. To illustrate, he said that the misconception that Africa is universally behind by every measure
  3. 3. of progress is inaccurate. ―Rural Tanzania might conform to that view, for instance, buturban Tanzania resembles much of Asia‖. We should use facts to override myths, statisticsthat dispel myths among the community of nations also can dispel geopolitical ignorance‖, he said. I will similarly like to note that much of the commentaries on Nigeria are clouded by characterisations and myths. Without clearing up what these myths symbolise, we will never have fruitful dialogue. Speaking of mythicism, every country has self-serving (or self-destructive) myths. Some of these have been elevated orthodoxies. These myths when needed, serve as battle-cry to galvanise their nations to achievement of their goals - for good or evil. For the United States, it is American exceptionalism, Jews (chosenness), Germans (supremacists). United States presidents always allude to American exceptionalism, a myth that iconic historian and public intellectual, Richard Hofstadter celebrated, when he wrote that America is the only nation in history that believes it was born perfect and strives for improvement. The American, you could say, is a dreamer who holds steadfastly to a myth. That myth has not only made America the richest nation in the world, but also has sired other myths: the American perfection at home and exceptionalism in the world. Good myths beget good destiny. Let’s return to Nigeria, we have some pernicious myths that even our people have elevated to orthodoxies. The prime one is that Nigeria was a ―mistake; a mere geographical expression.‖
  4. 4. There are others, good and bad: Nigerians believe thatnothing works in Nigeria. That Nigeria makes great plans, but there is always a problem with execution. That Nigerians show individual brilliance, especially in the Diaspora, but are unable to produce good leaders in home government. By far the most spiteful myth about Nigeria was one peddled by its colonial midwife Sir Fredrick Lugard.Lord Lugard, the former governor-general of Nigeria, in 1926, wrote his unfiltered thoughts about Nigerians. From his book, The Dual Mandate In British Tropical Africa, comes these excerpts: ―In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self-control, discipline and foresight. Naturally courageous, courteous and polite, full of personal vanity ... He lacks the power of organisation, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ... Perhaps, the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualise the future‖ What can be further from the truth? True, Nigeria has a chequered history, but which country hasn't?
  5. 5. In the early 1800s, two major developments occurred that had a major influence on the region that would become Nigeria. Between 1804 and 1808, an Islamic holy war established the Sokoto Caliphate. Over time, this new governmental body spread the rule of Islam in the region and created one of Africa's largest empires. Around this time, Britain, as the largest global colonial power in the world, enforced the ban on slave trade, promoting 'legitimate' trade. It also established an active presence in West Africa -a major source of slaves. Britain quickly increased its domination of the Lower Niger Basin to protect its mercantile interests and rebuff the threats of other European powers with interest in establishing colonies in the area. To consolidate its hold, the British established the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1901. Fredrick Lugard as High Commissioner (until 1906) and Governor General (from 19121918) was tasked with transforming Britain's commercial sphere of influence into a viable British Colony. He moved the territory towards this objective by forcibly and diplomatically subjugating local leaders to Britain's authority and governing through them. In forcing them into a union, none of the many ethnic groups in Nigeria was consulted – this may be at the root of constant agitations for a Sovereign National Conference. However, to lessen religious turmoil, Christian missionaries, who were the providers of western education, were discouraged from trying to convert the Muslim North to Christianity. As a consequence, almost all of Nigeria's western style schools were built in the south and southerners dominated business both in the North and South. By contrast, northerners mainly staffed the army. In a way, Nigeria is politically an imperfect union – because the component parts have not been able to negotiate the terms of co-habitation. This is perhaps why one must shudder
  6. 6. atNigeria’s hard-headed realism – we were born imperfect; so we must erase that mistake – that has sired sectarian violence, prebendal politics, terrorism, destruction, corruption, ethnicity, and religious bigotry. Therefore Nigeria needs its dreamers – dreamers of a certain quality: nation-builders willing to see Nigeria beyond its chequered history, willing to put national aspirations abovepersonal, religious or tribal interests; men and women who will respond to yearnings of thecitizenry for a platform to make a mark in the world. Nigeria needs leaders and compatriots who believe in the myth of Nigeria’s specialness, if for nothing else, by virtue of Nigeria being the biggest black nation on earth. This yearning has been demonstrated in many ways by my compatriots. Nigeria established the first television station in Africa; produced Africa's very first Nobel laureate and Africa's richest man from humble environments. Arik is currently the fastest growing commercial airline in the world. Rag-tag film producers, directors and half-baked actors and actresses, have taken on the world with their cheap brand of low-budget films and created an international brand called Nollywood. Nigeria LNG Limited rose from the ashes of 30 years of local and international politics to become a world beater, in the process earning for the country $25bln from $2.5bln investment and helping to put out 40% of gas flaring. Also take the story of a Nigerian Jason Chukwuma Njoku, 33, a jobless graduate who started a business (iROKO) in his bedroom in London with money loaned from a friend, and has become the most talked about internet business in Africa in less than three years with over 5,000 collection of African content films online . He has high profile mentions in Forbes, Financial Times, CNN and Wall Street Journal. iROKO has been able to raise $21million in two years of doing business, and its library content is dubbed the Netflix of African movies reaching 178 countries with over one million visitors a month.
  7. 7. Nigerians are eager, restless, and impatient to take hold of history and change its course; defiance and resilience are the hallmarks of their history. The can-do spirit is the lifeblood of all our progress. It is the reason why Nigeria is one of the very few countries that successfully moved from a painful civil war into a ―no-victor-no-vanquished‖ space. Indeed, Nigeria with its can-do spirit and specialness is waiting for the right environment to flower. Resources, Potentials and More The good news is that Nigeria has abundant resources in natural minerals (top seven reserves in the world - 36bboe oil reserves, 187tcf proven gas, 600tcf unproven gas, etc), huge 84million hectares arable land suitable for agriculture (only 40% in use), excellent weather, a huge population (young and vibrant - 120million+ below 30 years) projected to become 3rd largest in the world by 2055 after India and China. Its economic fundamentals are strong as evidenced by the ratings of Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody. The potential is also further evidenced by the following: 2013 GDP Growth at 6.87% (CBN) IMF forecast of 7.4% by 2014 – additional 2-3% potential when electricity resolved. Return of Foreign Investment of 36% versus 6.6% global average Sectors like telecommunication have been growing by 30% annually. Cement production grew from 2m tons in 2000 to 28m today, 39m target by 2015. Non-Oil Sector grew by 7.9 per cent in 2012 and 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2013 Single Digit Inflation (About 9%)
  8. 8. Power (electricity) key to growth– Average watt per person is 12 versus 450 in South Africa, 1,400 in US. Indeed, the smart money has been on Nigeria's rise as world's super power. But for utterly self-inflicted, avoidable circumstances, economists believed that Nigeria (and may be South Africa) would have been part of the BRIC union. That desire was often expressed in such acronyms as BRINC (Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria & China), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) or BRINCS (Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China & South Africa). Unable to make that league, Nigeria seems to have seized the limelight as a leading member of Goldman Sachs' Next Eleven, the countries expected to be the next economic power houses. The economic team of Price WaterhouseCoopers recently suggested that Nigeriahas the potential to be the fastest growing economy in the world Nigeria has also been named as part of the MINT economies, a term coined by the British economist Jim O'Neil who coined BRIC. These countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey are said to be the next big economic giants The report stated that with a projected GDP of nearly US$4 trillion by 2050 and an annual average real GDP growth rate of around six per cent, as well as a youthful and growing working population, Nigeria should rank 13th among the world’s largest economies by 2050. The report’s projections rely on Nigeria using its oil wealth to develop a broader-based economy with better infrastructure and institutions which will support long term productivity growth. PwC’s Chief Economist John Hawksworth, a co-author of the report, said: ―The shift in the global economic centre of gravity is clear. The E7 could overtake the G7 before 2020, and by 2050 China, the US and India could be by far the largest economies – with a big gap to Brazilin fourth place, ahead of Japan.
  9. 9. By the same time, Russia, Mexico and Indonesia could be bigger than Germany or the UK; Turkey could overtake Italy; and Nigeria could rise up the league table, as could Vietnam and South Africa in the longer term. There are huge opportunities for Western companies in the emerging markets – but also great competitive challenges from fast-growing emerging market companies." Let The Giant Rise With a litany of woes, of betrayed hopes as the world's largest black nation, as a regional super power, whose rise would lift the Sub-Saharan region, the question on everyone's lips is "will Nigeria, once proudly revered as The Giant of Africa, make it this time?" My answer is a resounding YES. To clarify my answer, I will like to align with the four factors expounded by Paul Collier, the director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford in England and author of The Bottom Billion (Oxford, 2007), that will be responsible for the rise of emerging market nations: - stability, favourable world policies, profits and opportunity. Permit me to add to the list, Education.In addition, Nigeria must also overcome such enervating issues as: Infrastructure void, Diversification of the economy, Oil Sector Reform (and passage of PIB), Oil Thefts, Security, Global Competitiveness Index DropsIndeed, Nigeria’s rise will depend on how its fundamental challenges are resolved. It will also require visionary leaders who can execute Transformational Agenda, men and women, who like the biblical Joshua, will take Nigeria to the promised land - dreamers, of a certain kind.
  10. 10. Stability: The periods of catastrophic government action that slowed growth in past decades in Africa have become less frequent. The failures in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s were profound learning experiences for these countries, which have joined the list of today’s success stories. Nigeria, for instance, had paid off its external debts, enacted prudent fiscal rules, and cleaned up its banking system. It has now had democratic government for 15 years and maturing, for example, it iscurrently witnessing growing opposition party, although clear party ideologies are yet to fully emerge. Policy:In 2013 the government unveiled the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) with atwo-fold objective: to increase industry’s contribution to GDP and to create a competitive advantage for the country. It is the nation’s first strategic, comprehensive, and integrated roadmap to industrialisation. The plan focuses on developing sectors, where Nigeria has a natural comparative advantage, and creating an enabling environment through reducing the barriers to development. The first phase of NIRP focused on six sub-sectors within the priority areas - palm oil, textiles, basic metals, automotive, base petrochemicals/plastics and rubber. Great strides were also made in policies towards manufacturing sector with approval of zero per cent duty on importation of equipment, machinery and spares for agricultural products and sugar production to encourage retooling and diversification. The government granted 30 per cent tax relief to companies that incur expenditure on infrastructure or facilities of a public nature such as power, roads and bridges, water, health education and sporting facilities. On automobile, Nigeria’s historical levels of producing 70,000 vehicles in 1980s, had declinedto less than 2,000 per year, despite the large population and latent demand. The
  11. 11. NIRP fiscal policy actions hiked tariffs on imported vehicles by 70% which has caught attention of global motor manufacturers since$3.451 billion worth of cars were sold in Nigeria last year. Local auto manufacturing Companies like Innoson Limited are teaming with Chinese companies to produce mini and midi buses, pick-up vans and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in Nnewi, Anambra State..Stallion Motors has struck partnership with NISSAN and Renault for local production of cars. Indian motor companies (TATA and TVS) plan to set up plants in Nigeria. Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, and Kia are conducting feasibility studies. These have the potentials to create up to 1 million direct and indirect jobs in the sector. Profits: The study of 2002–2007 financial data from Africa-based publicly traded companies for which data were available (a total of 954, mostly in manufacturing and services) shows that many of these firms are highly profitable. In part, because of low labour costs and gains in operational efficiency, the average annual return on capital of the companies studied was 65% to 70% higher than that of comparable firms in China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Median profit margin was 11% –better than comparable figures for Asia and South America. Coming home, Nigeria's biggest listed company, Dangote Cement made a pre-tax profit ofN143 billion naira ($910 million) in 2012 on strong local demand, compared to 118 billion naira in 2011. "Nigeria has a low per capita consumption ... so we believe there is a huge pent up demand in Nigeria ... which will drive growth," Chief Executive Officer, Devakumar Edwin said. Today, filmmaking employs a million people in Nigeria, with sales $2-300m a year. Nollywood is the world's third largest producer of films behind Hollywood and Bollywood,a phenomenon made possible by two main ingredients: Nigerian entrepreneurship and digital technology. Opportunity:The market for telecom in Nigeria expanded to over 125 million subscribers in2013 and is projected to reach 150 million by 2016. To date one of the providers, MTN, has
  12. 12. invested over $4 billion in the Nigerian economy and has paid more than $1.8 billion in various levies and duties to the government. Nigeria is also looking to grow its power generating capacity from 6,000 MW to 20,000 MWby 2020 with the Nigerian government actively attracting greater private sector investment and interest in its power sector. In addition to over $3billion realised from the privatisation of the generating and distribution aspects of power, African Development Bank (AfDB) approved about $190mto encourage private investments into Nigerian power sector and to enhance capacity building to meet the country's 40,000 MW target by 2030. Nigeria has also become a booming market for private jets. Nigeria spent $6.5bn (N1.02tn) in the last five years on private jets. The number of jet grew from 20 in 2007 to over 150 in 2012. Nigeria and China are the two fastest growing private jet markets in the world. Education: All the predictions on the rise of Nigeria will come true if and when Nigeria takes firm steps to fix its educational system. The results of the Senior School Certificate (WAEC) show the depth of the problem with the downward trend in pass rates - 2005 (27.53%), 2006 (15.56%), 2007 (25.54%), 2008 (13.76%), and 2009 (25.99%). None of the Nigerian universities is ranked amongst the 500 best universities in the world; neither is their ranking amongst African universities impressive. It has only few vocational colleges of any quality. Nigeria needs to urgently do something about the poor quality of education right now in the country, both for white collar (primary, secondary and universities) as well as blue collar (polytechnics, technical, trade, etc.) to be able to achieve its potentials. Path to unlocking Nigeria’s economy
  13. 13. Years have passed since investors updated their view of Africa’s promise. The time is ripefor multinationals to rethink sub-Saharan opportunities and simultaneously to help the region achieve its promise by contributing much-needed capital, business skills, and global connections. Sub-Saharan Africa is in many ways the last great frontier. The region has piqued executives’ interest, as it benefits from improving business conditions, demand for infrastructure projects, and a strong demographic profile. Nigeria is especially attractive,as it is poised to overtake South Africa as the largest African economy. Already, multinationals are reacting to South Africa’s stagnant growth by looking to the hottest frontier markets globally – Nigeria and, to a lesser extent, Angola. In their inimitable book, Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu argued that there is more to sizing up these markets than just evaluating data points related to size, population, and growth potential. In fact, the possibility to expand a company’s progress in developing economies is to first assess the area’s lack of institutional infrastructure—and then to formulate strategies around what the authors call ―institutional voids‖ to the firm’s advantage. The primary exploitable characteristic of an emerging market are institutional voids (weak institution, difficulties in enforcing contracts, politics and other extra-business concerns getting in the way of business) and though they create challenges, they also provide major opportunity both for multinationals and local contenders. The rise of politically savvy businesses capable of extracting value from opaque business environments contributed to the Asian miracle. Nigeria is currently at that stage. Besides conglomerates like NLNG, politically savvy businesses can help bring about a new business culture and growth. This can be seen in – Aliko Dangote (leveraging politics to move from trading to manufacturing) Tony Elumelu (leveraging politics to move from banking to Power); OandO (politically savvy businessmen), Johnson Arumene (leveraging politics to grow the fastest growing airline in the world - Arik), etc, all breaking new grounds daily.
  14. 14. Power reforms and privatisation are key in unlocking the potential and makinglocal businesses work and bemore competitive (currently 40%+ cost is in self-power generation that is several times the cost ofwhat public power company can deliver) and as such when resolved will enable manufacturing competitiveness against the huge foreign goods’ inflow ($60bnin 2010, $34bn in 2011) and enable export to African countries and beyond. Its immediate impact would be felt in ECOWAS sub-region where Nigeria would help to meet the aspirations of the founding fathers for a powerful, united block like the European Union. PHCN successor companies are now gradually being established, although they are still a mixed bag of businessmen and politicians or businessmen with political connections, those with good vision and culture will survive; those without will die off, remain stagnant or will be bought over. On Agriculture for example, a Central Bank of Nigeria report showed that Nigerian spent $4bn importing agriculture products in 2011 -$1bn on wheat, $0.7bn on fish (consumes 2.66mln but produces only 700,000 tons), $0.5bn on rice and $0.4bn on sugar, etc.The challenge, according to Dr. Judith Rodin of Rockefeller Foundation, is that the country has not embraced agriculture as a business. Nigeria, she said has the capacity to be the agricultural hub of Africa and the continent’s leader in food production.
  15. 15. Agriculture has huge employment potentials (23% unemployment in Nigeria and 60% of population below 30years) not just in farms, but in processing/conversion and distribution/sales. With huge land mass, good weather (sun, rain, etc), relatively cheap labour, etc, this is a huge opportunity area. Olam Ltd, a Kewalram Company established in 1989 grew from cashew trading to exporting primary products and has today become a global firm with annual revenue of $14bln, an example of the enormous possibilities in Nigeria's agricultural sector. The prediction is that politically savvy businesses will grow and impact the economy like their counterparts in Asia such as Korean chaebol (whose 10 top conglomerates contribute 53.4% to GDP), Tatainfluenced India (5.5% of GDP) or the Japanese keiretsu have been instrumental in the shift from commodities to higher-value manufacturing. Samsung started off as a trading company, evolved to textiles and food processing, and then on to high-value manufacturing. Today, their business spans electronics, shipbuilding and aerospace, among many other industries. Samsung alone is responsible for 20% of Korea’s GDP. Similarly, success of well-structured conglomerates and savvy businesses will draw others into the mix and create a platform for rapid industrialisation. Their growth will have a majorpull on the economy and influence the culture of business in the same manner as their counterparts in Asia. A TIME magazine article recently highlights China manufacturing everything but unable to invent anything. The article concluded that China will need to develop a threshold of the culture to query the existing set-up in order to begin to unlock the mental potential of its people. Yet, in their challenged position, China has grossly outdone India (another waking giant) and many others. For Nigeria, a country endowed by nature, it needs to demonstrate a capacity to engage in organizational critical thinking so as to move the country beyond where it is; the country is in need of dreamers, of a certain kind.
  16. 16. From Oasis To Critical Mass Sectors where politically savvy businessmen have gained foothold in Nigeria include -Cement, Telecoms, Power, Oil & Gas (NLNG/OANDO), etc. One way multinationals can tap into the boom and rapid business growth in Nigeria is through partnership with locals with strong appropriate connections. It is tricky, even risky, when the partnership is not well- structured. But this is a fact of business. Many countries and academics have spent fortunes and countless hours studying the Chinese business environment because of the promise of huge returns. I count this lecture as one of such measures towards understanding Nigeria's business environment. It is worth mentioning, however, that Nigeria never had many conglomerates. Big business, like politics is new and just beginning to take root. So, business culture and international business conventions are somewhat new. Only those with the mind-set of pioneers can navigate this terrain successfully; indeed success will go to those who can work with institutional voids which include complex web of entrenched political interests. In addition to sustaining its on-going reforms, the government must seriously think of how to smoothen the path of business.It must help to keep politics out of business. Too much politics (and instability) in 1970s and 1980s was responsible for Nigeria's paltry economic progress and inability to attain the BRINC projections. The annual GDP growth averaged approximately 2.25 per cent from 1992 to 2002 with population growing at 2.8 per cent per year; this meant that Nigeria's GDP per capita and living standards for most Nigerians declined. Nigeria's GDP however grew from 2003 to 2007 by six per cent, especially in the non-oil sector.
  17. 17. As unfettered business is a driving engine of growth, pro-business institutions in Nigeria including Chambers of Commerce, Economic Summit Group, etc must work with relevant committees of the National and state assemblies to ensure pro-business legislations and drive the implementation of same so as to meet the nation's aspiration of being amongst the world's super economic powers. Although oil accounts for over 78 per cent of Nigeria's revenue and 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings, however the culture of oil industry has not impacted on the country's corporate, industrial and political culture. The rise of business will introduce, embed and broaden the corporate culture and bring prosperity. This will be brought about by pioneers, who if they succeed, will attract others and grow until the number reaches a critical mass that will influence the way business and also government is conducted in Nigeria. The banking sector which grew from an all comers business until sanitised into strong banks (89 - 25 banks initially) with strong governance rules in place is a good example of what is possible when this takes root. The reformed banking sector attracted over $6 billion foreign investments in the first six month where for example Helios Investment, a London based private equity firm led investors to acquire 16 per cent of First City Merchant Bank (FCMB); GuarantyTrust Bank floated $300mln Eurobond which was oversubscribed by $271 million. The telecommunications sector is another sector similarly attracting over $1 billion foreign investments yearly and putting strong governance rules in place. However this is one area where more academic research work is to be done on how to best operate in difficult developing countries (Nigeria, etc), where political interests remain prevalent and are at odds, sometimes with western cultures and ways of working. Whilst issues like corruption and opaqueness must never be tolerated, it is important to ensure that the good aspects of the local cultures are also not relegated.
  18. 18. On the whole, Nigeria, for those who are genuinely interested, is not the black box academics and international business take it to be; it is an emerging market -- in the mould of China -one with strong possibility of becoming an economic power house. Nigeria with its hugemarket (168 million), its natural resources (including mining, oil and gas), its huge foreign remittances (estimated at $127 billion in 2013) and on-going reforms is the place to come. And, take it from me; there is no better time than now to invest in Nigeria. Never mind that it is still a country at the crossroads, with infrastructure void, grappling with leadership problems. The Cadbury’s, Unilevers, Nestles, Patterson Zochonis, Chevrons, Shells, Mobils, had always known that Nigeria is good for business. You only need to know how to navigate the maze and labyrinths. Perhaps, soon, the Nigerian will be able to hold his head high and say, this truly is a special country. This is a country with return on foreign investment exceeding 36% as against a global average of 6.6%. Nigeria is the place from where my company has earned $80bln since inception, $30billion of which was in the last three years. A company that has helped convert over 4 trillion cubic feet of gas that was hitherto being flared into wealth for the nation. A Company that has consistently achieved 97% plant reliability,despite operating in such a difficult environment A Company that was the world’s fastest growing plant during its construction, and is now the 4th largest LNG plant in the world. A Company responsible for 4-5% of Nigeria GDP and one with 100% Nigerian management team Without any doubt I can tell you that it is possible. Thank you, for your time and patience Babs Omotowa
  19. 19. MD/CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited REFRENCES: 1. THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF NIGERIA, by Philip E. Meza, Ekinadese Osayande & Lyn Denend, case study for Stanford Graduate Business School, 2010, published by Harvard Business Review. 2. WINNING IN EMERGING MARKETS: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution by Tarun Khanna(Author),Krishna G. Palepu, Harvard Business Review Press 3. NIGERIA? OPPORTUNITY IN CRISIS Harvard Business School case study by Professor Catherine S.M. Duggan prepared this case with the support of Research Associate Jonathan Schlefer, August 14, 2009. 4. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL IN NIGERIA: OPERATING IN A FRAGILE 5. STATE, Dr. Isaiah A. Litvak, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, for Harvard Business Review. 6. NIGERIAN FILM INDUSTRY: “Nollywood dreams”Nigerian films are so successful that the government wants to get involved. The Economist magazine July 27th 2006
  20. 20. 7. MINT: Myth or Reality, by Seyi Bickersteth, KPMG International paper delivered at the ICAN Conference, 9 October 2013, Nigeria. 8. AVIATION: More Aircraft Manufacturers Eye Nigerian Private Jet Market, by Aviation News in Nigeria, Tuesday, January 07, 2014 9. AGRICULTURE: Rockefeller to assist Nigeria reduce food import bill, by IFEANYI ONUBA AND OLALEKAN ADETAYO The Punch Newspaper, AUGUST 15, 2012 10. MANUFACTURING: Manufacturing Back On The Map, by Chris Okeke, Manufacturing Today Newspaper, 16th December 2013. 11. AGRICULTURE: Nigeria’s import bill dropped by N4.26trn in 2012, by TOLA AKINMUTIMI Nigerian Mirror, Mar 13, 2013 12. The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africaby The Right Hon. Sir F.D.Lugard, G.C.M.G, C.B., D.S.O, by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London 1922.

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